Two 1,650 MWe-European Pressurised Reactor plants will be set up in Maharashtra

The Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL) and Areva, one of the biggest reactor manufacturers of France, are finalising contracts for two 1,650 MWe-European Pressurised Reactor plants at Jaitapur, Maharashtra, by the year-end, according to French Ambassador to India Jerome Bonnafont.

Mr. Bonnafont, who was here on Wednesday to attend the inauguration of the Renault-Nissan Alliance plant at Oragadam near here, told The Hindu that the process of finalising the contracts, despite being complex and time-consuming, was moving in a positive direction. Initially, there would be two plants, and four more would be added later.

He referred to the recent visit of India's Atomic Energy Department Secretary Srikumar Banerjee to Paris to attend an international nuclear conference and said Mr. Banerjee held high-level discussions to assess the level of cooperation between the two countries. Research, training, safety, security and waste management were among the areas of cooperation between the two countries in nuclear energy.

The civil nuclear agreement between India and France, signed in September 2008, was ratified by the National Assembly of France in November 2009. It came into force on January 14 this year after the exchange of ratification instruments.

Asked about the Nuclear Liability Bill, Mr. Bonnafont said he would not be able to comment on it. However, he said: “We expect India to have a liability regime which is in tune with the international liability regime.”

As for the automobile sector, he termed the inauguration of the plant an important moment for the economic and business cooperation between the two countries. It was for the first time that a French car company was investing to produce cars in India in a big way.

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